Monthly Archives: December 2011

Taking the Week Off!

Standard

Hiya, Folks! I’ll be taking the week off from posting here since I’m on my way to visit my granddaughter (and her parents) this week. Very excited! In the meantime, please read and enjoy the reviews already posted and I’ll have a new one up when I get home.

Reviews coming soon:

Norm Brown – Carpet Ride

http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/CarpetRide.html

Diana Duncan – Deal with the Devil, Lethal Attraction, Bulletproof Bride

http://dianaduncan.homestead.com/Books.html

Michelle McGriff – Last Breath, Obsession 101 (Reviewed) Also reading Blood Relations (Review to follow)

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=michelle+mcgriff&x=0&y=0

Pat Bertram – A Spark of Heavenly Fire

http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/PatBertram.html

Mickey Hoffman – School of Lies

http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/SchoolofLies.html

Michael Murphy – Scorpion Bay

http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/ScorpionBay.html

AND MANY MANY MORE!

Advertisements

A Visit With Leslie Stuart

Standard

I met Leslie Stuart via Facebook. She was looking for people to read and review her newest book, “Roses in Winter”. I’m always up for a new book to read, so I jumped at the chance. Am I glad I did! Not only did I meet a lovely person, but I read a great book. Welcome, Leslie!

When did you start writing?

The concept for the Destiny Whispers Collection of Romantic Adventures began several years ago, after I developed Lupus and was housebound for several months. Writing was a mental escape from the pain. The Lupus symptoms are mild now and my life is fairly normal, but I feel oddly blessed by the illness because the wonderful flow of inspiration has never stopped.

What gave you the idea for your first book?

Roses in Winter began as an extremely vivid and highly emotional dream. I woke hearing Savannah’s voice, seeing the beauty of the Montana wilderness in my mind, and feeling the unbearable weight of Riley’s heartache. I worked the whole day and night on that first draft because I felt sure the story of Riley & Savannah’s bittersweet love was something the whole world needed to read.

What genre do you write?

Contemporary Romantic Fiction

What do you do to keep yourself focused?

Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

Do you stay with one project or do you work on multiple projects?

*grins* I’m always mentally juggling at least three books at a time. There are nine books, total, in the Destiny Whispers Collection of Romance Novels. Most are already ¾ written. It’s a busy place, inside my head, thus the need for mega-doses of caffeine.

What is your writing process?

I’m an extremely visual person. I see a scene in my mind and the emotional content just flows. It’s easy to put myself inside my character’s heart, stepping inside their worries, feel their needs, and live out their dreams. If I’m busy doing something else when inspiration hits, I’m good at retaining the feeling of a scene by letting it play over and over in my mind. When I finally sit down to put those feelings into words that make the scene real for my readers, I’ve already rehearsed it a hundred times.

How do you find your voice?

I’m not big on describing every tiny detail of the physical environment. I’m a Thinking-Feeling-Action oriented person. As a writer, I also read voraciously, but when I read scenes bogged down in description overkill… I skim it. Sorry. It’s my personal pet-peeve. As an author I focus on making the characters real. I want my readers to experience their feelings, thoughts, and understand their reactions to life. I want my readers to emotionally LIVE the story. For instance, I wrote how dangerously cold and hostile Montana felt to Savannah on the fateful day that she returns home to Graystone and how the snowflakes sizzle when they hit her fevered face. It worked beautifully. My emotional content created a visual tapestry of the snowstorm that allowed readers to use their imagination. That is my unique voice.

Do you know your ending before you begin?

Not always right away, but usually after rough drafting 20+ pages the characters spark to life; they live and breathe, for me. That’s when I know exactly how I want their conflict to end. Happily, of course!

What is your latest release?

“Roses in Winter” was produced by World Castle Publishing on Oct 7, 2011.

This is my official author page: http://www.WorldCastlePublishing.com/LeslieDStuart.htm

Roses has earned numerous 5-Star reviews and is currently voted #1 on the GoodReads list “Books That Touched My Heart” and is #4 on “Sweetest Romance Ever” and #5 on “Dramatic Love Stories”

What other books do you have published?

This is my first book, but definitely not my last!
The next installment in the Destiny Whispers Collection, “Secrets Are Never Shouted” will be released Spring 2012

Where are your books available?

My website: www.RosesInWinter.com Amazon: http://www.Amazon.com/Roses-Winter-Leslie-D-Stuart/dp/1937593568

Barnes & Noble: http://www.BarnesAndNoble.com/w/roses-in-winter-leslie-d-stuart/1105610516?ean=9781937593605&itm=1&usri=leslie+d+stuart

World Castle ebook store: http://worldcastlepublishing.mybigcommerce.com/roses-in-winter/

World Castle Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/3688254

GoodReads: http://www.GoodReads.com/Author/show/5183602.Leslie_D_Stuart

Roses in Winter – Leslie D. Stuart

Arianna Hartwell has a secret from the world. Her real name is Savannah Greystone and she’s from a small town in Montana. To the world, she’s a superstar, but to Riley Rosemont, she’s his “Savage”.

After a terrible accident that nearly kills her, Savannah returns to Montana to find that Riley is living in her family home. He’s not happy to see her.

Savannah’s body and soul need to heal. She’s come wanting to die, but needing to find redemption. Her shattered heart still holds four words to be true, “Forever Isn’t Long Enough.” Riley’s hot and cold attitude alternately helps and hinders her recovery.

Riley Rosemont is a Montana Man—quiet, unassuming, stoic. His love for Savannah can overcome anything, except the fact she left him, pregnant with his son, to go to NYC for fame and fortune. He’s a man who holds his anger and frustration in, occasionally lashing out at the woman he still loves. Deeply hurt by Savannah’s desertion, he finds it hard to put aside these baser feelings and open his heart to love.

Forced into seclusion by an early season blizzard, the time has come for both of them to put the past behind them and move on. Relying on one another seems the only way to do that.

“Roses in Winter is a beautifully crafted, well paced novel of love, loss and rebirth. The characters are wonderfully depicted, true to their nature and three dimensional. Leslie weaves a story that makes the reader laugh, cry and want to yell (at Riley) sometimes simultaneously. I highly recommend this novel for anyone who enjoys a good laugh, a great cry and a wonderful love story.

Five Golden Acorns!

Party With Rico Austin!

Standard

Introducing mi amigo, Rico Austin! A former football player, Rico decided to turn his hand not only to business, but to writing a book. His book, My Bad Tequila, is a great read! Rico has been a guest on my radio show, What’s Write for Me (link below) I think it’s safe to say he’s one of the most colorful characters I’ve ever had on my show.

I’m pleased and proud to have read Rico’s great book, My Bad Tequila, and to share his interview with you.

When did you start writing?

I, Rico Austin first began writing seriously as a seventh grader at age 13. I was elected as reporter for the “Eager Beaver 4-H Club” in Marsing, Idaho and started submitting weekly articles to the local newspaper. Then later was elected reporter for the local FFA chapter my freshman and sophomore year where I continued to expand my writing ability. As a freshman I took 3rd place in the Marsing High School essay contest titled “American Beef Farmers.”

Many years later I would become a professional freelance and feature writer for DAS TOR newspaper at Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of Global Management from 1996 – 1998. I also won the first and only writing essay at DAS TOR in March 1997. The essay asked contestants to propose ways for Thunderbird to be improved. Humor and using the knowledge of several countries that I had traveled to and a bit of wild innovation allowed me to secure the winning essay. One of the most serious assignments and pieces of journalism was reporting on the Winterim class 97 “US Foreign Economic Policy” in Washington DC including the opening of the 105th Congress and the Inauguration of the President of the United States – Mr. Bill Clinton.

What gave you the idea for your first book?

I took my first Spring Break Trip back in 1986 that I had saved for about a year when I attended Boise State University.

What genre do you write?

Fiction and Non-Fiction blending the two!

What do you do to keep yourself focused?

Writing at night is much easier for me, especially late at night when I’m sipping Margaritas or drinking Coronas. When I drink sometimes my mind is much more alive and artistic.

Do you stay with one project or do you work on multiple projects?

Pretty much one writing project at a time unless I have something to do with my employment and then whatever it takes.

What is your writing process?

No real process involved; I just sit down and start writing; after a chapter or two I will go back over it for my first edit, however I really do not change anything other than misspellings and punctuation.

How do you find your voice?

Well with the epic novel “My Bad Tequila” it was easy as my voice is My Actual Voice in the story.

Do you know your ending before you begin?

I thought I did; however, I was very fortunate in that my fingers took over and put the finishing touches at the end. I’ve been told several times that “My Bad Tequila” has one of the best surprise endings of all novels that some of my readers have read.

What is your latest release?

“My Bad Tequila” is my latest release and only novel.

What other books do you have published?

I was selected among several hundred writers and bloggers to help compile a booklet with
13 other prominent authors. “How to Create Credibility as a Freelancer – 70 Tips from a
Collection of Experts” was published in 12/2009.

Where are your books available?

“My Bad Tequila” is available at
http://www.Amazon.com http://www.BarnesAndNoble.com http://www.Powells.com http://www.BooksAMillion.com and several other websites serving the U.S and the rest of the World. In the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area: Poisoned Pen – Scottsdale; Changing Hands – Tempe; Thunderbird School of Global Management – Glendale; Dog-Eared Pages – Phoenix; Mostly Books – Tucson; Hastings Bookstore – Flagstaff; Boise State University Book Store – Boise, Idaho

To Hear Rico’s interview:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rrradio/2010/10/27/whats-write-for-me

 MY BAD TEQUILA – Rico Austin

When he got on the bus to Mexico that chilly Idaho morning in the spring of 1986, little did Rico Austin know how the trip would change his life. He envisioned blue water, sandy beaches, sultry amigas and enough tequila and beer to satisfy even the heartiest drinker. What he got was a double shot of reality, more than enough for anyone.

Funny, revealing, thought provoking and, at times, touching, “My Bad Tequila” runs the gamut of emotions, laying Rico’s life bare. One of my favorite incidents is told in Chapter 3 Football Memoirs Part 1. Bronco Stadium at Boise State has blue turf on the football field. Didn’t know that? Neither did I. However, the story of how that came to be is told in “My Bad Tequila”. Yup, you guessed it—all Rico’s fault. It will leave you laughing.

Conversely, the touching story of a special Christmas when Rico’s family was visited by a volunteer from the Salvation Army, will make you cry. There are several spots where the reader will need a few tissues.

When doing a review for a book like “My Bad Tequila”, the impulse is to share too much—to give spoilers. However, doing so with this book would completely ruin it. “My Bad Tequila” must be experienced. And what an experience it is! From start to finish, Austin draws in readers, laying his sins bare, admitting his faults. It is a uniquely penetrating look at the man, his life and his tequila.

I couldn’t put down “My Bad Tequila”. Each chapter compelled me to read until it was gone. Like tequila shots, it leaves you wanting more and more. (Only with no pesky hangover in the morning.) This is a book anyone can enjoy. I came away changed in ways I can’t even describe. It truly is a double shot of reality.

© Dellani Oakes 2011

Ruth Davis Hayes Will Rock You!

Standard

If you haven’t yet read Dawnstone Tale – Translations from Jorthus what are you waiting for? I couldn’t put it down and when it was done, I begged the author for book two. Since she’s a wonderful person, she took pity on me and sent me her proof copy. Sorry folks the rest of you will have to wait for the book to come out. But the good news is, it’s coming soon! Meanwhile, you can read Book One, which will rock you!

When did you start writing?

I dabbled with fiction in high school, and then continued starting many different storylines throughout college. I slowed down after my son was born, and didn’t think seriously about writing novels for publication until four years ago when my friend, with whom I was sharing the various adventures, asked if I could send them all in sequence for her. So, I thought if I’m going to go that far, why not finish them as books.

What gave you the idea for your first book?
My first printed book, The Dawnstone Tale, was a way to introduce the world, the characters, and their relationships that were already set up in the story that I was writing before it (which turned out to be the second and third books). I did it backwards, I suppose–started writing an adventure, then went back to show how they all met. It started as a short story, but was encapsulated enough that if I stopped with only one book, then at least it had a definite beginning, middle, and end. The original adventure that I had started has such a long story arc, that I had to divide it up.

The characters, which had developed in my mind, pretty much controlled or dictated the plot by their natures. And, the characters started from just a simple discussion between two old friends. I was helping my friend repair some dolls, and we began making up personalities for them as we worked. The world of Jorthus began to take shape, having started from a daydream of journeying across a map of the ocean floor in geology class, and when I put the two elements together, it took on a life of its own.

What genre do you write?
I write what could be classified as high or epic fantasy, although I do enjoy spicing it with irreverent humor to keep it light sometimes. My first unfinished endeavor was a vampire trilogy that was very dark and harsh, but not without an injection of humor as well.

What do you do to keep yourself focused?
Focused? Procrastination is more my “go to” word! But, seriously, it is very hard to stay focused. Some days I get busy with so many other projects (either costuming, painting, drawing, or helping others) and some days, usually in the middle of the night, I can sit and type out page after page. It helps keeping an outline from the notes that I have written over the years. What keeps me focused, on finishing these stories, are the friends and family members that are waiting to find out how this will all end, and I don’t want to disappoint them.

Do you stay with one project or do you work on multiple projects?
I used to work on multiple projects, as I would get quickly bored of one storyline until I was working on another, then new ideas for the old one would pop up. But, now, I try to stay within one “world” just so that I can finish the novels as quickly as possible. I am currently indulging in a short story compilation as well as finishing the fourth novel in my Jorthus series.

What is your writing process?
That’s hard to say. Generally, I will start with characters in mind, and then toy around with putting them into situations. It is almost a case of letting them take the lead. Rarely do I have a strict plotline defined first. By their personalities and motives, the characters control how the events resolve. Each one is a piece of me, so I try to keep them true to how I see them, and just go along for the ride! I try to keep it as exciting for me, as a reader and a writer, as it will hopefully be for other readers.

What is the theme of your novel?
Each novel could have its own theme, in a sense, but I see them as all parts of a whole story that will take several tales to tell. The overall themes, I suppose, would be hope, personal redemption, and learning to forgive oneself. I see the series as a journey for the characters–to discover themselves and how they fit into the mystery of their universe.

Do you consciously use symbolism in your book?
I do notice quite a lot of symbolism creeping into my stories, though I wouldn’t say that it is completely conscious. With fantasy, I find that it tends to be the nature of the beast, as it were, to have symbolism mingled throughout the writing. It may not always be intentional, but after the story has concluded itself and I reread it, it’s there.

What is your latest release?
In order to lower cover prices, I split Book Two into two books, so they will be re-released at the same time. I will be issuing a reedit of the second book, The Convergence, with new illustrations by my talented friend, Khanada, later this year. The second half of it will now be included in the book, The Excursion, which will have new cover art by Khanada. I hope to have the fourth book, The Midnight Shadow, ready for release early next year.

What other books do you have published?
My sister and I wrote and illustrated a small, children’s book in honor of our grandmother and her daughters. It was a short run, self-published book called, A Wise Woman’s Fable. Originally intended for family and friends, it was so well received by others that we are thinking of redoing it and submitting it for wider release.

Where are your books available?
My books are available through Amazon.com, Triscelle Publishing, and my own createspace estore on http://www.booksofjorthus.com. The ebooks, or epub files, are available for download from Lulu.com.


The Dawnstone Tale – Translations from Jorthus: Book One
Ruth Davis Hays

The Dawnstone Tale – Translations from Jorthus: Book One is the first in in Ruth Davis Hays’ fantasy series. In a world where life is enhanced by magic, the magda rule select territories.

Lylith Antinon is the daughter of a magda, or magic user. A magda herself, she lives alone until a strong compulsion to venture into the unknown brings her out of her comfortable, though lonely, tower. Her innocence of the outside world makes her easy prey for one unscrupulous enough to take advantage.

Traveling alone isn’t safe, but on the road she meets the dark and mysterious fae lord, Dharromar. He swears to protect her, but does he have more insidious things in mind for the naïve human? His strange countenance and dark blade mark him as very different, even among the fae.

By chance, they encounter a young faerlin thief named Keinigan. On a mission of his own, he throws in his lot with Dharromar and Lylith because they all have the same objective in mind—find the Dawnstone.
The Dawnstone is a legendary gem held on the Isle of Daie. Taking it is foolhardy and futile, but the three companions plan a daring escapade to steal the magical gem.

Ruth Davis Hays has a beautifully descriptive narrative style. She truly creates pictures with her words, describing the characters and environment so that readers can easily see them in their imaginations.

The characters in The Dawnstone Tale, are beautifully crafted. Lylith is a pretty, delicate, young woman whose innocence marks her as a pure spirit. Is it any wonder that both fae men find themselves attracted to her? She has no desire other than to rescue the Dawnstone from its current owner.

Dharromar is a fae man of mixed blood whose lineage is greatly in question. Even he may not be sure what race his father is. His skill set also sets him apart, as does the dark blade at his side. Although he protects Lylith, he isn’t quite what he seems.

Keinigan is a thief. He doesn’t profess to be anything but that. While one cannot call him honest, he isn’t exactly dishonest either. His feelings for Lylith are genuine and his distrust of Dharromar is based on more than his desire to woo the redheaded magda.

The Dawnstone Tale – Translations from Jorthus: Book One is one of the best fantasies I’ve ever read. I found it even more compelling and well paced with a story that keeps the reader moving. When I got to the end of the story, I wanted to read the next book immediately to find out where the tale goes from here.

The Dawnstone Tale – Translations from Jorthus: Book One, is a marvelous, epic fantasy that leaves the reader begging for more. It starts out good and gets better as the story progresses. By the last ten pages, I was literally breathless. The ending is one of the greatest cliff hangers of any book I’ve ever read. I highly recommend it for anyone who loves fantasy or who enjoys a well told tale.

I give this book 5 golden acorns!

© Dellani Oakes 2011

A Little Something New

Standard

Most reviewers have a little something by which they rate their books, thumbs up or down, stars, etc. I decided I wanted something unique and distinctive as well. Being as how the old moniker is Oakes, I decided on rating books with golden acorns. So, each book will receive 1 – 5 golden acorns. So far, not read & reviewed anything below a 5. Let’s hope that trend continues!

Dellani